National Grid has launched a pioneering ‘enterprise model’ as a response to UK supply chain and skills shortage, announcing the first seven supply chain partners to form the Great Grid Partnership.

The Partnership, which will initially focus on the network design and construction work required by the end of the decade for nine major infrastructure projects across England and Wales, forms part of a £9 bn supply chain framework which will also support infrastructure projects beyond 2030.

The Partnership’s aims include supporting supply chain capacity and fostering collaboration across best practice and skills.

Investment in the UK’s electricity network industry will contribute an average of £18.4 bn to GDP and support around 220 000 jobs each year between 2024 and 2035.

The Great Grid Partnership has named the seven partners who will support the delivery of an initial nine Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) projects. The ASTI projects form a key part of ‘The Great Grid Upgrade’ which is building the significant new electricity network infrastructure required to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels by connecting 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

This new ‘enterprise model’ is a collaborative partnership bringing together National Grid’s supply chain partners. Two design and consenting service partners [the AECOM–Arup joint venture and WSP], and five construction partners [Laing O’Rourke; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure; Morrison Energy Services; Murphy; Omexom/Taylor Woodrow (‘OTW’)] are joining National Grid in the newly formed Partnership.

The enterprise is intended and designed to speed up the delivery of national electricity infrastructure by taking a fresh approach to UK supply chain and skills issues. The partnership aims to co-ordinate the planning and execution of projects, allowing each supplier and National Grid to pool their resources, skills, insights, and experience to deliver faster and more economically – driving value for money and benefits for both consumers and local communities.

The partnership comes as the demand for products, services and skills continues to rise on a global scale as countries ramp up investment in the energy transition.